Public Release: 

They Call Him The "Turtle Man"

National Sea Grant College Program

Louisiana Sea Grant microbiologist Dr. Ron Siebeling has a lot of mouths to feed daily during spring and summer months- no not kids, but something familiar to baby boomers everywhere- nearly 1,500 red-eared slider turtles living in tanks in his office and laboratory.

Yes, the kind you once had as a pet before the FDA banned their sale due to salmonella poisoning problems in 1975. Siebeling is researching ways to keep healthy a significant part of Louisiana farm economy - the $9 million pet turtle export business. His research is leading to new ways to eliminate salmonella among the turtle populations, and may one day lead to their availability again in pet shops in the U.S. It also might help scientist develop ways to deal with other infections bacteria that harm poultry and livestock.

Contact: Ron Siebeling, Louisiana Sea Grant Researcher,

504-388-2796, E-Mail:

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